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No Place Like Roam

I think our wonderful USGlass magazine editor Ellen Rogers summed it up best. She was chatting at our virtual networking event on Thursday evening as part of GlassCon Global-Glass Expo VE when she said it, and she was right. “You know,” Ellen said, “I really didn’t think I’d ever miss traveling. I do a lot of it and it can be a hassle. But getting to connect with people I hadn’t seen in months at the show and to enjoy a virtual happy hour together, just reminded me how much I miss being with everyone.” For Ellen, and all of us here, “everyone” is the glass industry and we miss… Read More »

Some Updates—Codes and Otherwise

Judging by your response to the recent blogs in this space, there is widespread concern about glass railings. These concerns generally center on safety issues, dealing mainly with those who do not know the proper codes and/or installation procedures or are deficient in installation skills. Our industry wasn’t the only one to notice this problem. The International Building Code’s (IBC) Section 2406 is being rewritten to define terms such as guards and handrails. Previously, the section used terms such as guardrails and railing in-fill panels. During a recent glass conference code update, industry consultant Thom Zaremba explained that glass in guards must meet the load requirements of 1607.8. The glass… Read More »

A Clear Choice

So when Hurricane Isaias came through Virginia last week, he left a little (but memorable) present in the form of hundreds of gallons of water deposited swiftly in my basement. His parting gift led me to venture out to my local hardware chain store in search of a generator that could power a wet vac just in case the electricity went out. I have been retail-deprived since the whole COVID-19 crisis began, opting to do most necessary shopping beyond groceries online. So when I set foot into my neighborhood Lowes for the first time this year, the differences the pandemic had wrought were clear. Well, they were almost clear. I… Read More »

The Nerve, the New and the Negative

A nerve was hit last week, the likes of which I haven’t seen in a long time. Luckily it wasn’t a result of a visit to the dentist nor an encounter with a pushy person. No, the “it” was this blog last week that hit quite a nerve. I heard from tons of people with examples, stories and horror about scenarios, all surrounding the improper installation of glass railings. You can read the original here. Both the number and the passion of the responses surprised me. So we have a myriad of problems around this issue. The first is the prevalence of the issue. As I said last week, there… Read More »

Railing Against Railings

Is it just me or have you too seen an avalanche of shoddy new glass railing work? The increased use of such technology is a natural outgrowth of the desire for breathtaking views from smaller spaces and a desire to make vistas ever wider. Whether categorized as glass railings, glass windscreens, glass balconies or glass side rails, they all involve floor-to-waist glazing that offers transparency and views while providing a degree of separation and protection. It’s the increased protection part that bothers me. Am I the only one who has seen some incredibly awful and possibly unsafe railing jobs done out there? I saw a picture of one this weekend,… Read More »

It’s Not Unusual

Hard to believe that July is happening while I am still waiting for April, May and June to occur. The only thing usual during this time is the unusual, and the only thing ordinary is the extraordinary. I will explain. The ordinary things we usually do—the haircuts, the beverage sipped from the coffee shop table, sending the kids off to summer camp—they are all quite unusual now due to the world’s microscopic guest star—and I don’t mean guest star in a good way. Just about everything we do has been disrupted. And like any good open, laissez-faire ecosystem, disruptors are ripe to take advantage of the change. The report I first… Read More »

No Show, But Tell

I had it all planned. No matter what name it had existed under, or where it was held, this was going to be my 39th consecutive year attending the show. To the best of my knowledge, no one else holds a longer consecutive record. Never missed a one since the first in 1982. Until now that is. The COVID-19 pathogen has claimed another victim, and this time it’s not a human one. By now you have surely heard that GlassBuild America (GBA) 2020 has been cancelled, its next live incarnation will be in September 2021 in Atlanta. Before I go further, let me mention a few things. First, I want to… Read More »

From New Normal to Next Normal

The good news is … that everyone is busy. Everyone I spoke with last week told me how busy with work they were. That’s the good news. There could be bad news though, based on the reason for the good. Is everyone busy because of all the work they could not accomplish during the height of the stay-at-home orders? Are they busy because lay-offs and downsizing have reduced the amount of human capacity available to accomplish said work? Well, there seems to be a bit of that, but not as much as was expected. For the most part, companies are just happily, joyfully overworked. Though the COVID-19 crisis will have… Read More »

Flack to the Future

KMR, the parent company USGlass magazine, just completed a very interesting research project about the technologies contract glazing companies plan to embrace in the future. It’s quite telling and detailed in more depth in the June issue of USGlass magazine. The study looks at a series of technologies, many of which have been identified as crucial to the future success of contract glaziers. Here’s a breakdown of those technologies and how many have adopted them already: Technology in Use by Contract Glaziers Technology Adopted Modeling software 23% Internet of Things 20% 3D printing 19% Robotics 15% Smart PPE Wearable technologies (i.e. exoskeletons) 11% Drones 9% Virtual reality 6% Artificial intelligence… Read More »


The speed of it is the amazing thing. In just nine weeks, almost everything about our collective and individual realities has changed. A science fiction movie plot has become our reality. Yet, unlike a movie plot, the ending is still being written. When we finally glimpse this story’s closing credits, much will be changed. The COVID-19 crisis will launch, advance or hasten a number of those changes. Here’s my list of the ones that will impact the glass industry the most: Out of Touch: The ability to enter and exit a building or room without touching any surface (except your feet to floor) will become standard. The use of smart… Read More »

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